Doris Ann Sweet
Candidate for Ward Councilor, Ward 4
Campaign Website: https://www.sweetward4.comBiographical statement
Grew up in Northern NH. BA (Comparative Lit.) and MA (US history and Library science). Career academic librarian at Columbia, Boston University, Harvard, Simmons, and Assumption. Has lived in Auburndale since 1978; has two daughters and three grandchildren who all graduated from Newton North HS.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Was your motivation to run for office prompted by an issue which impacts the community that is not being adequately addressed?
I’ve always had an interest in politics and when the Ward 4 councilor position opened up, I recognized the chance to become more deeply involved in Newton government. I was also encouraged by current city councilors to run. I am running because I want Newton to be a thriving city that can serve the needs of all of its residents and remain a welcoming, inclusive community. I am not a single issue candidate; I believe that more multi-family housing, allowing more people to live in Newton, would: improve climate resiliency, reverse declining school enrollment, create walkable village centers, and support small businesses.
Question 2: Housing affordability and its role in increasing racial diversity in Newton has been a stated goal. What measures would you take and support in order to meet this goal?
I would encourage building smaller homes, which are less expensive. I would also support increasing multi-family homes, both through rental and ownership. Also, I support requiring affordable units in all new buildings with 7 or more units. According to the Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2019, from the Boston Foundation, “Diversity in housing stock promotes diversity in communities”. The approaches I support would increase diversity in housing stock, which would likely result in greater racial diversity across the city.
Question 3: Small businesses are the heart of our economy and they are struggling. How can you help the city support these businesses?
Revitalizing our village centers with more homes brings more customers and potential employees within walking distance of those businesses. Implementing plans to keep businesses open during village center reconstruction and working with landlords to keep rents from sharply increasing after construction, is essential.
Question 4: Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Newton. Residential and commercial buildings need to be weatherized and electrified. Relying on voluntary action produces extremely slow progress. What incentives or mandates would you put in place to motivate home owners to weatherize their houses?
Financial incentives have proven to be effective; I would work with our state reps to explore any Massachusetts programs and funding that could be part of the plan. Working with organizations like Green Newton to design incentives and recommend alternatives for traditional building materials and fossil fuels, as well as promote greater education about the benefits of, and need for, sustainable buildings and homes.